Jermaine Jenas has said Harry Winks “must play” for Tottenham against Liverpool in the Champions League final.
Winks hasn’t featured since the quarter-final first leg against Manchester City when he suffered a groin injury.
The 23-year-old has since undergone surgery and missed the remainder of the season while going through rehabilitation.
But he has now returned to training and is expected to be in the squad for Saturday’s final in Madrid.
The question is: will Winks be in the starting line-up or on the bench against Liverpool?
In his column for the Daily Mail, Jenas made a case for Winks to be included in the starting line-up because of the attribute he brings to the squad that no other Spurs midfielder does.
Jenas also noted that Roberto Firmino, who has also been struggling with injuries, must start for Liverpool.
“The decisions on Harry Winks and Roberto Firmino are simpler: both must play,” Jenas wrote. “Spurs don’t have any other midfielder who covers the ground like Winks.
“There is a tactical need for his mobility. In the Premier League, 42 per cent of Liverpool’s assists have come from Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson at full-back. So Spurs will have to ask Danny Rose and Kieran Trippier to play aggressively high up the pitch, as they did in the September meeting between the sides even though they lost, and keep Alexander-Arnold and Robertson occupied. That will leave Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld to deal with Liverpool’s front three – so they will need help from Winks and Moussa Sissoko in midfield.”
Winks’ inclusion in midfield next to Moussa Sissoko will mean there is only room for four attacking players.
Ultimately, Mauricio Pochettino will have to leave one of Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Son Heung-min or Lucas Moura on the bench – I don’t envy him.